Chad Valley brand development and repositioning

Review, creation, evolution and guardianship of the Chad Valley brand over a 5 year period for Argos

UK market share up from 37% to 41% in 12 months.


Consumer research had identified that Chad Valley was categorised by its core target audience (parents with children under five) as a ‘nondescript’ brand. It lacked the confidence and energy of competitors such as Fisher Price, Thomas the Tank Engine and Early Learning Centre. Parents struggled to know what the brand stood for and they had concerns over product quality. Initial Chad Valley branding was viewed as confusing, unappealing and lacking in personality.

 Our core brief was to help re-establish this fantastic, historic, British toy brand.


Bonfire was initially commissioned to review and develop an inclusive set of brand guidelines and deliver the Chad Valley brand promise of ‘endless play’ across the packaging, catalogue, online shop and internal events at Argos HQ. It was vital to deliver a compelling and cohesive brand story in Argos’ unique retail environment where customers are unable to examine goods instore.

A core part of the Chad Valley customer journey is the infamous Argos catalogue. Over time we developed and directed the brand pages exploring photography, product size, page positioning, features, hierarchy, colours, borders and illustration styles optimising impact and getting the science of this unique touchpoint down to a fine art.

As the potential of the Chad Valley brand was realised over a five year brand evolution, we delivered the brand promise of ‘Endless play’ through a core creative vision of ‘A world of imagination’. The brand and all its touchpoints were extended several times with expanded product ranges, branded clothes, outdoor play and garden products. Our creative vision was developed very early on after a series of market research exercises and was built on the concept of ‘A child’s imagination having no boundaries’.


The overall outcome was a more detailed, intelligent and consistent implementation across the various toy categories and two core Argos touchpoints, the catalogue and the online shop-in-shop. We also applied each evolution to all product packaging and categories. The customer journey was transformed.

In year one of the brand review and development the initial impact sales went up 57% YoY and Argos achieved a market share increase in the UK toy sector from 37% to 41%. Approximately 70% of this four percentage point increase is directly attributable to the incremental increase in sales of 35% that the Chad Valley brand has generated in its first 18 months implementation.

The Chad Valley brand had exceeded its three-year business plan and revenue targets in the first 12 months. Bonfire continues to evolve the Chad Valley branding, offers brand guardianship and explores, develops, optimises and extends the brand guidelines as and when new product lines and categories are introduced. Over the five year period since its introduction into Argos the brand has seen over 500% growth and continues to go from strength to strength.

3 year growth plan achieved in first 12 months after brand development.

Won DBA Design Effectiveness Award for point of sale.

The work from Bonfire underpins the importance of the catalogue as a major touchpoint and conduit for the vast majority of brand awareness and sales at Argos. Due to the retail success we have achieved with the Chad Valley brand, through the main catalogue brand/design strategy and development, other channels are now being explored; TV media is now a focus and the brand is expanding further with a clothing range bringing the projected annual sales for to £80m.

Brand Manager, Chad Valley

Won Oracle Retail Week Award for product innovation.